An Advocate for the F-35

Deborah James, Air Force Secretary nominee, said on Thursday the F-35 strike fighter has been an “enormously expensive program,” but is integral to the United States maintaining air superiority. Addressing the Senate Armed Services Committee at her Sept. 19 confirmation hearing, James said she would continue to advocate for the F-35, if the Senate approves her nomination, and would press the point that “the threats out there are real and that we need this program to help us counter those threats.” The F-35 program is “trending in the right direction,” she said, citing the newest, lower lifecycle cost projections. James said the basing decisions for the initial combat-ready F-35 units should come in October or November. (James’ responses to advance questions)